CC Meeting 8 Aug 2016





ATTENDEES: Prost, Adam, Problem, Apple, Pixie, Cooper, Babbage, Kati, Beth, Cooper, Rabbit, Judge, Clover, Breezy, Susan, Kataluna, Clovis, Wrinn, Monkey, Bonobo, Turtlebunnie

TOPICS: Surveys and Censuses; Capitalizing on Flipside Work Experience


MOTION: Within two weeks, list [survey] questions that we want answered. If we don’t come back with questions, we don’t have a survey. Post questions on CC list. MOTION PASSES

MOTION: Create subcommittee to explore guidelines to presenting work experience. MOTION PASSES. Subcommittee: Beth, Kati, Monkey, Prost.

MOTION: Schedule CC retreat Nov 11-13th. MOTION PASSES.

ACTION ITEM: Clover and Pixie will do a poll re: places for retreat.

AAR/LLC Update (Problem)

  • We have a meeting with the company who runs gate soon, talking about what went well and didn’t, seeing if they’re interested in next year, or if we need to find new gate staff

Area Facilitator Update (Mer)

  • The CC needs a scribe–ideally, a pair of scribes–and I’ll arrange scribes until we make that happen.
  • The warehouse needs to be reorganized and cleaned up; the leads need to put their gear up in the mezzanine to help that occur. We need to take ownership of this space and that’s difficult to create; it didn’t just move along with the warehouse.
  • Site Ops will come on wed to put their gear upstairs, could be good opportunity to get other teams in on that effort. CN = bring your work gloves and get the WH organized. Team Awesome Pants get the bridge out. Can the scrap wood be disposed of?   Who makes that call?
  • It’s so freaking hot in the WH that nobody can stay upstairs long enough to move gear. We need a railing on the staircase. Need to address the airflow issue upstairs.

8:00pm Censuses and Surveys (Clover)

  • Should the org conduct surveys/censuses of the community, if so, how and when–what past efforts have occurred, and how was the data used? Is this something [the CC or AAR] wants to take ownership of, and how/why are we going to use that information? Is there a history of this, attempts, etc?
  • What kind of census/surveys should we do? Are we tracking the demographics of the community, or the interest level of participation and volunteerism, theme camps, age range? Should we do this or have someone else do it? How could we use that information and what’s the benefit?
  • Seen exit polls done at various events, might be good idea to gather this info, good to get a pulse on various issues–like whether or not to keep recycling.
  • Kiwiburn had a great exit survey and would probably be willing to share the template or online tool they used. Also, in order to get to the form to buy a ticket, you had to do a type of multiple choice questionnaire thing that helped you determine what kind of volunteer you were–that was really cute and fun.
  • One potential use would to be able to break down Flipside population along demographic lines, depending on design
  • We’ve had past attempts (in ‘12 or ‘13?) specifically about the Mass Gathering Permit (MGP) and other data, for the most part it wasn’t overly useful, it just confirmed that there is a confirmation bias. There was a census done by Tom in (‘14 or ‘15?) and didn’t find useful data. Pretty much what the CC says is what the community is feeling. Unsure of usefulness of another survey. There’s very uncomfortable data that can come from open-forms–people naming names and explicit issues in a way that you’d have to hand off to AAR, it can be an uncomfortable position to be in. Even closed CC list is too public a forum for that kind of data, so I’d want to keep the data inside AAR to avoid putting someone else in that difficult situation.
  • Question: do we want to include this reference to the content of previous surveys?
  • Clarification: free form comments = uncomfortable data?
  • Sensitive acts were named, even though specifically asked to be omitted, got mentioned anyways.
  • Asks about the Kiwiburn survey. What’s the point of getting this information? Flipside hasn’t struggled with population or growth, is this info the kind of thing we’re going to try and affect policy change with, or is it just mental masturbation–who would have access to it, who would have responsibility of going through it. Lots of people don’t want to look at that kind of thing immediately after the event is over. Are we trying to address any problems with this info or is it ego stroking?
  • As an org, I wouldn’t want to run a survey unless we’d identified problems that a survey would be the best way to solve. Another problem is there’s no way to ensure that we’re getting a representative sampling. If the people who respond are the ones who want to respond, it’s not representative in any other dimension–therefore the info might not be that useful
  • Kiwiburn data is very boiler plate, they use it to track trajectory of the event over time–population over time, distance traveled, did you bring an art project–growth curve, assessing potential needs for the community out in the future. 25-30 % response rate, pretty high. We don’t have the ability to easily make that trajectory comparison. If we had it, maybe we would use it–how is the general population changing in size and scope?
  • Surveys might not be a way to solve problems, but could be a way to identify problems. While the respondents might not be an accurate representation of the event, it’s the most data we’re going to get. Might be a useful metric for survival guide content, folks who are likely to read the survival guide are pretty likely to go and fill out a survey. Surveys can obviously be useful–we have one out about land–if we ran a survey consistently, we could get valuable data tracking.
  • Rangers have been doing surveys on “how did your shifts go?” for at least five years. Ghost also did a general safetyside survey, got 39 responses, of those 29 were Rangers–out of 100 total rangers for the event. While the entire safety dept wasn’t well represented, they got good feedback from Rangers. Probably because [Rangers] are drawing in people who like to problem solve, and that’s a good way to get data. Rangers have also come to expect surveys, so they take notes during the event on what works and what doesn’t. Consistency in calling for feedback, making it easy, causes good turnout. Having an explicit goal is key.
  • What are we trying to solve? Could help identify problems. “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know where you’re going.” Do we want more diversity? We have to know where we are in order to identify problems or establish baseline in terms of whether things are getting better or worse. If you conduct a survey and don’t get much response, doesn’t mean we should stop. It’s not scientific and representative to do volunteer polling, but the science of online polling has evolved a lot and we can certainly find info to figure out how those numbers could work for us.
  • We have a lot of this data. ⅕ of the population doesn’t camp with a theme camp. Ticket registry data, etc. We have a lot of this data via other means. Graphs of when people enter the event. When we’ve used polls in the past have been specific questions–what do we do with the effigy if we can’t burn it, is a MGP good for this land? Narrowly focused polls are better at getting us the data we need. Generic polls aren’t very representative of population–five percent newbies on the poll respond, when we have 25% actually attend the event. Margins of error were double digit.
  • You can take data from one source and marry it with another source. Can extrapolate conclusions based on different data sources–data you already have vs data you gather.
  • We have a lot of information but no correlation. Ex: How does the number of newbs we have correlate to whether they camp with a theme camp or not. In that case, correlation could help us ID edjumication possibilities. Maybe polling people at the event would increase response.
  • If we have 25% newbs then we need to have burner charm school. Polls and surveys could be a solution looking for a problem. We could track the way the badlands grows–there are so many other ways to find out, not sure it’s worth putting the energy into this other thing.
  • Value in surveys is breakdown in demog data, correlating with other data sets. How much data do we already have? Number of years people have been coming to FS? We should have data collection year to year in order for it to be useful.
  • Breakdown is as expected but the participants were self selecting. If we want to keep track of demographics, figure out why and what the goal is–do we want to encourage more people of color? Of course. The real question is, how do we fix that problem, not necessarily how to gather data on it. Comes down to the problem we’re trying to solve. We had more people who have been to eight Flipsides responding to the survey than we had newbs.
  • We’re talking about two different types of surveys. There’s demographics, and then there’s questions like “did you feel safe at this event?” or “how did you feel about the FEG burn?” We already know basic demographics, but pointed questions would be a good place for surveys. I’d rather know what they think about the event rather than who we are.
  • The way scientists design experiments is based on the results we’re trying to show. Draw the graph you’re trying to see. Until you know what you’re trying to answer, it’s just button pushing.
  • Button pushing is awesome. Two methods: targeted and directed vs data mining/amorphous/undirected. Maybe you want to collect as much data as possible because you don’t know what part of it is going to be useful. Or, what interventions would you take if the data said a particular thing? For example [the data field from] “duration you’ve been at FS” (assuming it was a survey taken at the event). What interventions would the CC consider recommending to the LLC based on that data? Depending on data outcome, how does that change what we recommend? Interesting data is cool but that’s not who we are. We should be addressing problems directly and using data to do so, or we should be trying to improve our event directly and using data to do so–unless we have a feeling that a wide amount of unknown data might help us at some point in the future. Doesn’t feel like us.
  • Does collecting too much information makes us look like the NSA? Surveys should be anonymous unless we do a focus group type thing. There’s a lot of existing data points but they’re hard to correlate. We don’t know how many newbs are in theme camps–if there’s one in a TC they probably don’t need to go to charmer school, but if they’re in the badlands, that’s the population we want to reach. Let’s enumerate some of the problems that we’re interested in, and design a survey that goes towards that, design followup survey on that topic. Do we know how many cars come to FS? Should we start with the kind of questions we need to answer?
  • “What is art?” And make it a True/False survey
  • One way to use this info would be building and sustaining volunteerism. What attracts people to certain departments, are we attracting people outside their comfort zone or are we encouraging burnout by asking people to do things for FS that they do outside the event? Demographics is scarier than questions that are pointed towards sustainability and participation. Is this a problem that we’re having? Our needs for surveys would be different than Kiwiburn’s survey for example. There are certain people who will fill it out, and people who will read it. How do we reach more people in the community? On site safety survey shift survey–while it’s fresh, immediately following a shift. Land survey had so many responses–will it always be the same kind of people who fill it out?
  • For newbie edjumication, addressing this is key. It’d be good to know if most newbies were showing up with a ticket they got on immediately before the event. Then something early on like Burner Charm School isn’t useful to most newbies.
  • How do we communicate with people? How do people get their info about FS? How do you get most of your info about events? Would be a good data set to have as the CC and as the full organization.
  • One place to figure out the questions we should be asking is to look back at safety logs. Senior volunteers for those departments and site ops etc can point to recurring issues that need to be addressed–like people not wearing shoes and getting hurt. Could create surveys to be interactive teaching things–turn responses into knowledge distribution that could grow our volunteer base. Could ask questions that could test to see what people know about what it takes to volunteer for, say, medical.
  • People will claim to know a lot more than you think they would have.
  • There’s nothing stopping a participant from creating a survey and tossing out on social media. The question is how much does the org want to be responsible and liable for it.
  • Targeted surveys aren’t a big deal–those are fine. Scattershot, seeing what sticks kinda survey–doesn’t promote the radical individuality. Let’s just address the problems we identify. Let’s have the discussions rather than having people take tests, possibly feeling like a barrier to entry. Let’s do this with intention rather than just seeing what’s going on. We know where the holes are, let’s just address those.
  • Should this be a doacracy? If people run off and make surveys and ask questions that make the community uncomfortable? Could ask questions that influence responses in a way that’s not good for our event? Need cooperation between individual who want to do this and the org. Should form list of problems we’re seeking to address with the data, if we’re going to do that.
  • The CC has a long history of deferring to personal interaction. It’s a doacracy, but TH interaction is more important than FB stats. Social media usage–what’s our goal? If we know numbers about participation means we can set that goal. We’re more interested in the people who show up (to CC meetings). We don’t have interest in random techno-skewed sampling. It’s an opportunity for issues to come up that are up to the community to solve, and serve specific subsets of interests–the CC can do a better job of soliciting feedback. Would much rather have people show up (to CC meetings, or the WH events in general) and voice concerns, rather than picking for possible conflicts. If you go fishing for opinions, we need measurable goals for what we want, what kind of participation we want. Kiosk at TH? Social media doesn’t neccesarily contain the audience we’re interested in.
  • The 200 people who show up at TH are no more representative than the 200 people who would fill out a survey. We (the CC) don’t have a history of doing this well, we struggle with social media and community engagement. We ask for topics and get a handful of people and the DaFTies who happen to be here anyways. Surveys and censuses are just another tool in the toolbox.
  • Straw poll:
    • ”Does anyone feel like no surveys?” (none)
    • ”Should we do surveys targeted at specific problems?” (majority)
    • ”Are surveys too big brother”? (handful)
  • Straw poll:
    • Is this something “we” should own and run (CC/the org)? (majority)
    • Should we bless someone in the comm? (majority)
  • Should we rec to AAR that a member of the org should run the census, or should we seek a non org person? If we’re going to make a rec to have a census as the CC, do we want it to be official or unofficial?
  • That’s a false distinction. If we’re tasking/blessing someone re survey, then they’re defacto part of the org. If the CC runs the survey and then someone who is running it, then it’s putting that person in a difficult situation.
  • What’s the distinction–does the CC own the surveys regardless of who does them?
  • Too abstract. CC has done survey in the past. Very targeted–what to do with the Effigy if we couldn’t burn it. Would have great issue with the CC doing a free form survey like that. Too abstract to adequately address whether or not we should do this.
  • Don’t see a reason why the CC cannot hold things in confidence. Interactions with the community, people tell us things that we can hold in confidence. There are members who could be trusted to figure out which comments should be kicked over to the LLC and which shouldn’t.

MOTION: Within two weeks, list questions that we want answered. If we don’t come back with questions, we don’t have a survey. Post questions on CC list. MOTION PASSES

  • If we’re going to do a survey, maybe limit it–people are more likely to give feedback if they have to do it less often. Kick it to the AFs first.

9:14 Break

9:25 Reconvene

Regionals Update (Clovis)

  • ”The Gerlach regional is fixin’ to happen”
  • Lots of international burns happened with success: Nordic, Nowhere, Montreal
  • George and Shayne are having an online newb orientation
  • BMORG is being charging entertainment tax for artists who were being their own entertainment.
  • Could be NV state politics, the tax charge
  • Myschievia, Freezerburn and Burnt Soup tix are going on sale soon

Capitalizing on Flipside Work Experience (Prost)

  • Lots of people are talking about how what we do as an organization is valuable in the mundane world in terms of professional experience. Do we need guidelines for doing that? How do you list your FS experience as an AF, for example? Is it okay to list as AAR or Burning Flipside by name? On Linkedin, there are 37 people who claim work experience with AAR, 9 are LLC, the other 27 claim different titles–consultant is popular. “Conflict resolution specialist.” There’s a Burning Flipside group (on Linkedin) with 25 members. Do we want to provide any sort of guidelines to volunteers about how to list their experience on their resume or on Linkedin? Or provide guidelines to how you might translate FS titles into “real world” titles? Who do you represent, how do you get that work experience validated, who can back you up?

MOTION: Set up subcommittee to set up guidelines to come up with recommendations. SECONDED

  • Supports subcommittee idea. Who’s the customer of the outputs? Is it the org or the community? Based on numbers listed, a very small number of people list FS as their work experience, but when I talk to people about what they get out of their FS experience, it’s opportunities and skills they can use in their other jobs. We’re missing an opportunity for communicating skills development that are readily applicable for helping people progress in their current jobs. We can connect work experience at FS to volunteer experience inside FS and connect that to progression in outside work.
  • If subcommittee provides set of guidelines, would that be a valuable tool?
  • Ping people who’ve translated FS resume into default resume for subcommittee membership
  • Subcommittee needs to figure out who can sign for things and vouch for people
  • AAR has written letters of recommendation for people.
  • It’d be nice if AAR had a policy on what they will do, always do. Some companies want to verify dates, titles, eligibility for rehire, strongly recommend LLC not be generic “reference”. LLC needs to come up with a policy so people know what to expect if they list AAR as a reference. That part shouldn’t be up to a CC sub comm. It should be up to the LLC.
  • Big gap between companies/HR/legal requirements about what you can reveal about your employees that people on the LLC might not know. Part of the basis is create your own reality–it’s an ever changing community organization. You say as individuals, will you vouch for me? Talk to each other about who’s going to vouch for each other.
  • Am I allowed to discuss my role as an AF, I’m referred by a potential employer? How do I translate my job description to default terms?
  • People are going to embellish their resumes, we should be talking to each other re: what is going to be said. Helping people translate that experience is a good thing to do.

MOTION: Create subcommittee to explore guidelines to presenting work experience. MOTION PASSES. Subcommittee: Beth, Kati, Monkey, Prost.

  • Offer AFs participation and will ping AF list.
  • I’m happy to continue to provide recommendation letters until requests become a barrage. I don’t want to be too bureaucratic. If someone asks me to provide a reference–don’t make me lie for you. Is [the job you did for AAR]  relevant [to the job you’re applying for]? Are you comfortable asking me to be a reference for you?
  • [To the LLC]: Take it up with your lawyer if you’re going to adopt a policy.
  • Being able to put it on my resume is not why I volunteer. It’s a benefit, but it’s not why I do the thing or show up. It can help explain gaps in work history, and it’s the longest running thing I’ve got on my resume–”involved with safety teams since 2000” looks astounding on a resume and we don’t often get to do that–but that’s not why I volunteer.
  • Corporations have official policies of no recommendations. On the side, though, you’ll probably find managers who are willing to vouch for you.
  • What are the deliverable items we’re looking for out of the subcommittee? Want to be able to give helpful community guidance as an organizational gift to our volunteers? “we’ve thought about this, if you want to be able to put this on your resume….” Not a list of rules of what you can or can’t list, or this is the official way, but as a gift and a help, a resource to community and volunteers. Include placeholder for whatever LLC is wanting to say re policy surrounding it. Don’t want to phrase the thing as a carrot to encourage people to volunteer as a lead. One of the neat things about our work experience is that it’s incongruous with other people’s work history, and we provide people with opps on work that they might not otherwise get–some people don’t understand that they can use these things on a resume. How to translate the material.
  • Let’s not limit it to lead positions (that the subcommittee gears its advice to). One of my campmates got a job chasing down weather balloon’s for Google’s global internet project based partially on his experience driving a truck for me when I was Transpo lead.
  • There’s a diversity of experience and skills [you can get through FS] that people might not appreciate. If we had a roundup of the range of skills that you could list….


  • CC Retreat
    • Fill out the Trello.

MOTION: Schedule CC retreat Nov 11-13th. MOTION PASSES.

ACTION ITEM: Clover and Pixie will do a poll re: places for retreat.

  • Trello Access
    • A member of the org has asked to be able to view the CC Trello board, so that they can figure out if it will be useful for their part of the org. Are we okay with that?
    • There’s nothing particularly sensitive on the Trello, although it’d be nice if non-CC members had read-only access. If anyone from the org wanted to look at that board, it’s okay
    • Let’s have a start date and end date
    • We should know who’s on the board


TOPICS: PETs and OTC Meds (Adam), Townhall Agenda

FACILITATOR: Turtlebunnie

STACK: Pixie